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Hi folks,

I need to install the last of my hardwood flooring, baseboards, doors and casings. (I have a 45-degree nailer on loan and had borrowed a 16-gauge nailer but the latter is gone.) I also have a small amount of crown molding in the kitchen that is still in the box waiting to be installed.

The whole house is under 1500 square feet, of which there are probably a few hundred linear feet total of baseboard and door casings to do, including seven doors yet to be installed. I'm doing this incrementally as I have time, one room and possibly one wall at a time, due to limited space.

I've been looking at nailers and saw a well-reviewed Hitachi 15-gauge angled nailer at Lowes but also 16-gauge finish nailers and 18-gauge brad nailers. I suspect the 18-gauge brad nailer would be used only for quarter round and kitchen trim and could be rented for one day. For the rest, is it worth buying an inexpensive 15- or 16-gauge nailer? What's the difference between those sizes in terms of functionality? It would be used for the leftover areas the big flooring nailer can't reach plus doors and trim.

(I'm more than willing to hand nail, too, but I suspect the productivity boost would be worth it.)

What do you think?

A.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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I use both a 16 and 18 gauge nailers. When doing door and window casings, I nail the casing to the wall with the 16 and casing to the jam with the 18. I see little difference between a 15 and 16 gauge nailer.

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Unless I'm missing some subtlety in your question, I'm not certain why you think the gauge of the fastener is relevant to hanging trim.

Fastener length matters more. Pretty much every trim nailer supports a maximum of 2.5" fasteners. I recommend you use 2" or greater fasteners, and aim for a stud (...duh).

I prefer 16ga gauge fasteners, and I hang trim with as few as possible. Smaller gauge make smaller holes; and smaller holes don't require putty. If only they'd make 2.5" titanium pins with heads--now that'd be ideal!

Small gauge nailers are also easier to schlep around than their larger, heavier 18ga brethren, so there's that.
 
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